Out of 636,048 decisions given by Turkey's Consumer Arbitration Committees in 2017, consumers won 77 percent of the cases, whereas bank fee complaints constituted nearly half of all complaints.
In a statement to Anadolu Agency, Customs and Trade Minister Bülent Tüfenkci said a total of 587,244 complaints were filed to the committees last year.
"Consumers applied the most for loan appropriation fees with 184,400 complaints. This was followed by 83,374 complaints for cellphones, 49,685 for shoes and 26,874 for credit card membership fees. Additionally, 28,328 complaints were filed for GSM and internet subscriptions," Tüfenkci said.
When complaints were distributed in accordance to sectors, the financial services sector led with 272,168 complaints. The subsequent sectors were retail trade with 207,378 complaints and subscription services with 45,756 complaints.
Numerous consumer complaints were also filed through written and electronic channels, Tüfenkci said, noting that legal information was provided in 32,319 complaints made through communication centers of the Prime Ministry, the Presidency and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), in addition to e-state application and other web channels. Some 340,000 calls were also answered through Alo 175 Consumer Consultation Line.
Consumer arbitration committees were introduced in 2015 in a bid to settle small scale commercial disputes quickly and efficiently and to reduce the workload of commercial courts. Committees are located in each district and province governorate, and may settle cases up to 2,200 Turkish liras in district centers and TL 3,300 in province centers.